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Theo Epstein skipping All-Star Game to monitor the phones

Updated: August 14, 2013 6:20AM



Cubs president Theo Epstein will remain in Chicago next week to ‘‘monitor the phones’’ instead of attending the All-Star Game in New York.

‘‘These days, more is done on the cellphones,’’ Epstein said of trade discussions. ‘‘It’s almost harder to get things done when you’re at the All Star Game trying to find people.’’

The Cubs have coveted commodities in starter Matt Garza, closer Kevin Gregg and others. Epstein admitted only that ‘‘a lot of chattering is going on now. I wouldn’t say anything is imminent.’’

Epstein didn’t want to discuss Garza’s comments Monday about a ‘‘50-50’’ chance he would re-sign with the team.

‘‘I’d rather not speculate publicly,’’ Epstein said. ‘‘Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well. He’s very healthy, so there are teams out there looking for pitching and ready to make calls about acquiring him.

‘‘Our job is to be realistic about where we are and where we’re going and act accordingly.’’

Silence is golden

Agent Scott Boras echoed the players union Friday in condemning leaks surrounding the possible impending suspensions of several players connected to the Biogenesis drug scandal, including Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, one of his clients.

‘‘I don’t know where it’s coming from,’’ Boras said. ‘‘There is only a small group of parties who have access to this.’’

Reports say Rodriguez and Brewers star Ryan Braun could be facing 100-game suspensions after the All-Star break. Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, failed a drug test after the 2011 season but was exonerated by an arbitrator, who ruled his test samples were mishandled.

Boras said nothing in the collective-bargaining agreement deals with the circumstances of the case or the reported penalties.

‘‘Our sport has done so much to adjust and adapt,’’ Boras said. ‘‘We don’t want to focus on something that is an allegation. That’s why we have due process.’’

2nd-half rotation

Jeff Samardzija will open the three-game series in Colorado after the break. Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson will finish the series.

Garza and Travis Wood will follow, pitching the first two games of the four-game series in Arizona.

In the fold

The Cubs signed two other draftees Friday in addition to top pick Kris Bryant: right-hander Trevor Clifton (12th round) and catcher Will Remillard (19th).



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